Why People Think WoW Subscription Numbers Are Falling And Why They're BS
I don't come around much to WoW related forums anymore, but it seems everywhere you go it's the same debate and the same arguments about why WoW is dropping in subscribers. A lot of them are BS and some of them have a little bit of truth to them. Here are the BS reasons:
"They Made LFR For Scrubs!"
"It's Not F2P!"
"WoW Got Too Easy!"
"The Graphics Are Crap!"
Do all of those things have a little bit of truth to them? Sure, in my opinion, but all of them are BS and have nothing to do with the subscription numbers dropping, here's why:
1) Appealing To 7 Million People Is Impossible
Have you ever tried to actually implement something or come up with an idea that a room full of 10 people like or agree on? Now, try to do that with 20, and then 50, and then 100, and then 1,000 and then 100,000 and finally, try to do that with 7,000,000 people.
It's not difficult coming up with a feature that everyone likes, it's actually impossible. There are actually some people out there who are petitioning not to have character models implemented despite the overwhelming response to have them done as quickly as possible? Why is this though?
Different tastes. Not everyone's going to like them and some people actually like the models (however plain they may be). Some people are attached to the current models and really have no desire to see them change.
This goes for any feature though, there is nothing you can think of that will appeal to every player that plays the game. Hell, you can't even find a topic that the small majority of people who visit the WoW forums agree on.
2) People Have Changed
When I was a kid, I would sit in front of my Nintendo, die 1,000 times and keep on resetting and doing the same task over and over until I beat the damn game. Sometimes games were frustrating but I was so determined to beat a level, no matter how hard it was, I would sit there endlessly until I beat it.
Now, take the generation of gamers we have today, sit them in front of some of those same games (assuming they've never played them before) and see if you get the same results.
More often than not, they're going to die a few times, say the hell with this game and do something else. It's not necessarily a bad thing, but people have changed and there's more things to do now days. Honestly, I can't say I would've spent so many hours on Crash Bandicoot had there been other options and so many websites out there to waste my time on.
People have changed and how much time they'll devote to wiping on bosses or trash has changed as well. Honestly, do you really want the days of "trash progression" back. "That's awesome, we finally made it to Kalecgos but our tank is tired so he's going to bounce." "Whelp, looks like we're done raiding tonight".
The time constraint required to complete anything in previous expansions and other games before WoW was absolutely brutal. Even if you had no life and played video games for 16 hours a day, some of the things were unnecessarily hard and required way too much effort for what it was worth. You can't stick the current and new generation of gamers in those situations anymore, it doesn't work. They get frustrated and stop playing.
That's ideally what LFR is about, people who don't want to spend hours wiping on the same boss. As much as I enjoyed Hard Mode raiding when I did it, I still look back and wonder if all my time spent was really worth it, if I could have been doing anything else instead.
3) The Game Is Showing Its Age
Yes, the graphics aren't exactly the best, but honestly, the graphics have come a long damn way. Go check out a Private Vanilla server on YouTube to get an idea of what graphics were like, (ALL HAIL 1024 x 768)!
What I'm talking about isn't exactly related to the game engine but other features such as game icons, the minimap, etc. Now, if you have a UI installed such as Towellie UI, ElvUI, LUI, etc, then you know how awesome your UI looks. You more than likely have combat log, chat and scrolling text modifications as well.
Now take all of those off and look at the default UI (LOOK AT IT)!
That's right, the game is definitely starting to show its age. Blizzard has made a lot of improvements over the years but there are still a lot of things that never evolved from the start of the game that could definitely use a re-work. Games age and WoW has lasted far longer than anyone from the original team thought it would. Hell, they probably thought they would be working on World of Warcraft 2 or some other game by now.
When your game explodes to 13 million subscribers though over the course of 4-5 years, you know you have something special. The game is definitely showing its age to a lot of veteran players, and that's a contributing factor.
4) The Majority Of Sub Drops Aren't From America
You have to understand that a place like China, doesn't really like the P2P model. I don't know how their exact payment system works but they have far more MMOs and Free Online games out there than America does.
I mean come on, we live in America, we don't like giving out free stuff to people. Will America ever be going "Free 2 Play", I sincerely doubt it. I advise you to look up the history of Bobby Kotick or anything Activi$ion related, if it were up to him, anyone remaining would be paying $199.99 a month per character owned.
Non-American countries don't exactly have it as gravy as we do here and while a lot of us might shrug off a small monthly fee a month, there are a lot of countries out there where it's actually a big deal.
Sure, I don't meet as many people out and about with WoW Merchandise on or people randomly shouting "FOR THE HORDE" in WalMart anymore, but there are still a ton of Americans playing the game.
5) People Grew Up And Stopped Or Became "Casuals"
This is a major reason for some of the "Hardcore" gamers I used to know and why they stopped playing. It's not that they really hated the game, some of them just grew up and couldn't commit to camping lowbies or running raids for 60 hours a week anymore.
Some of them are married now, have kids and work multiple jobs to support those kids and family.
Some of them however still play under the "casual" hood. Sure, they may dominate the DPS or Healing charts and used to be part of the absolute best, but you'd never know it because they're besides you in the same LFR that you're in, because they simply don't have the time to do anything else.
I even got to that point myself, all I wanted to do was Flex and had no interest wiping with a group on Normal over and over again. I just wanted to do Flex raids and get it over with.
Life happens, the game isn't going to last forever and neither are the memories that we make while playing the game. I remember a lot of character names from the game (whether incredibly great or incredibly bad)(and even a guy who was so mad that I ganked him that he was trying to find my information using Google) but you have to understand that everything good comes to an end.
A lot of epic moments happened on Guild Vents, in the guild themselves, there was a lot of drama and a lot of happening going on but we all knew deep down it wouldn't last forever and it was just a moment.
Sure, it'd be fun to relive those moments but that's what a lot of people hang on to when they grow up. WoW isn't a bad game, there are just things that have changed and altered our opinion of it.
I still browse MMO-Champion once a week to see the recent changes to the game and I'll keep browsing more than likely to see a glimpse of the next expansion. I'm always a sucker for WoW related spoilers but if I will return is questionable. I myself have been focused a lot more on growing my own self-employment business and less on gaming as a whole.